10 Ways We’ve Defended Women’s Human Rights in the Past Year

At the time of this writing, I haven’t done anything for Amnesty International, but I have a feeling that is going to change.

The organization is on the front lines of some of the most earth-shattering work being done for human rights in our age. And I want to be a part of it.

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But don’t think of them as other people who are doing important work. Think of “them” as “US”, and let’s appreciate some of the excellent work that “WE” are doing to improve the living conditions of women and girls around the world.


There are going to be a lot of other changes too.

And our work is nowhere close to being done.

We can’t let our discipline slip, and let ourselves slide back into old ways of thinking, or into any form of complacency.

But for right now, let’s celebrate 10 things we have done, collectively, to advance women’s human rights in the past year:

1. The Canadian government announced an inquiry into missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls

2. Burkina Faso has made commitments to end early and forced marriage

3. Miscarriage is not a crime: Justice for Guadalupe in El Salvador

4. Five women’s rights defenders released on bail in China

5. You stood with sisters threatened with sexual as punishment in India

6. A Sudanese court overturned the conviction of a teenager sentenced for “indecent dress”

7. Justice for a Courageous Torture Survivor

8. Amnesty activists rallied for a domestic violence victim sentenced to death 

9. You helped put women’s rights on the Canadian federal election agenda

10. You helped break the silence around sex, relationships and reproduction in many countries

Now for another emerging human rights victory:

I want to introduce you to my Fraternity brother, Harrison.

She’s the one on the right!

I’m not exactly sure how to explain this to everyone, but now, I guess you can call him my Fraternity “Sister”.

He goes by the name “Rhiannon” now, and from this point forward I will refer to him as “her”, or “she”.

Admittedly, this isn’t the most comfortable thing for me to do because I’m still not sure of all the etiquette! But what I do know for sure, is that he is my Fraternity sister for life, and I love her for everything she is and everything she’s doing for LGBTQ rights.

Here she is being interviewed about an event she is collaborating on this evening at our local university:



Life sucks. You know, when you think about it in a certain way. Everyone you pass on the street today is going to die, and if you live long enough, you will lose everyone and everything you love in the entire world. As Sam Harris says, this is our situation as human beings.

But when confronted with the specter of death, we have choices.

We can shrink away in fear, and engage in active mistrust of our fellow men and women, or we can use the fact of death as the basis of  human solidarity. Since everyone around you is going to die at some point, and we don’t know what happens at that moment, why would we want to be anything but kind to them in the meantime?

Where LGBTQ rights are concerned, the same rules apply. Life will take EVERYTHING from you, and if you’re lucky enough to find that one person who makes your life worth living, no matter who they are, no one else has any right to tell you that you can’t be with that person.


We didn’t come “INTO” this world, we came “OUT” of it. While we’re all stuck here together, we can make this life a joyous occasion for celebration. Where the rights of all are respected, and each person can find happiness for themselves and in the company of others.

Whoever you are, and whatever you do, and whoever you do it with, I support your right to be happy.

All the best,

Matt Karamazov


Matt Karamazov is a mentor, boxer, and human rights activist who reads 200 books per year and throws 300 punches per minute. The website, Godlike Discipline, is his most deeply felt project, dedicated to raising money for causes like Doctors Without Borders, and Human Rights Watch, among others. It’s also dedicated to helping people tackle their biggest willpower challenges. He also like death metal, and so, consequently doesn’t get many second dates. Here he is on a horse.

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